News, media releases

Liberals ignoring own data with Mersey Hospital planning

  • Liberals ignoring crucial data in NW health planning
  • Latrobe is the third fastest growing area in Tasmania
  • Labor will re-establish level 2 maternity services at the Mersey

The Liberal Party is ignoring its own government data with its failure to support Labor’s plan to re-establish maternity services at the Mersey Community Hospital.

Labor Member for Braddon Anita Dow said reports produced by the Department of Treasury and Finance clearly show the Latrobe municipality is one of the fastest growing local government areas in the state.

“These reports are backed in by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and a recent report released by the University of Tasmania Institute for the Study of Social Change,” Ms Dow said.

“This report finds the Latrobe municipality is the third fastest growing area in the state with a forecast 23% increase in its population over the next 20 years. While other regions are experiencing population decline, Latrobe is growing.

“This is why Labor will re-establish level 2 maternity services at the Mersey to ensure services are near where they are needed.

“Proper health planning should mean you take into account demographic change. It is unfathomable that the Liberals would ignore their own government data when it comes to health planning, let alone information from the ABS or the University of Tasmania.

“Peter Gutwein needs to explain why he is ignoring documents from his own department and why he won’t reinstate level 2 maternity services at the Mersey.”

Shadow Health Minister, Dr Bastian Seidel, said the Liberals were risking lives.

“It is unacceptable that babies are being delivered in the back of ambulances due to the lack of services in the region,” Dr Seidel said.

“I echo comments made by the president of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia Dr John Hall that access to local maternity services sits alongside a patient’s access to a regular GP, emergency care and inpatient hospital care as a basic human right.

“Rural maternity services are key to providing quality medical care close to home for the entire community, and they must be protected, supported and reinstated where necessary.”

Ms Dow said the communities of Latrobe and other areas had a clear choice when it came to integrated maternity services at the Mersey.

“Vote for Labor and level 2 maternity services will come back or vote Liberal and see more of the dysfunction and chaos in our hospitals.”

Anita Dow MP 
Labor Member for Braddon

Dr Bastian Seidel MLC
Shadow Health Minister